On the 11th, I gave a heads-up that the following day, I would be visiting the John Greenleaf Whittier Home museum, in Amesbury, Mass.; and I wrote a little about my expectations. I did, indeed, take the tour yesterday, but I have just spent several hours describing my trip in my sequel, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own world." I not only visited the Whittier home, I also swung by Dover, New Hampshire (where Mathew and his first wife, Abby, eloped to in 1836); as well as making a second visit to Mathew's grave in Union Cemetery, Amesbury.
Because I'm kind of burned-out, and need to turn my attention to other things, as well as winding down and getting some rest before I go in to work a shift this evening at a nursing home, I'm going to just hit the highlights. But first, I'm not sure whether I mentioned a very strange coincidence that has come to light, with regard to that nursing home. Long story short, it turns out that Mathew investigated the possibility of purchasing 75 acres of a 130-acre farm, with the buildings, in 1844. This is mentioned in a letter he wrote to his brother about it. Well, the nursing home I'm working at, on weekends, sits smack on that property. About 1,500 feet from the home, is where the farmhouse--a portion of which went back to the 18th century--is a middle school, still under construction. It appears that I just missed seeing the original old buildings, which were torn down to make way for the school. Parts of that 130 acres is still farmland, and part of it is woods. I was able to obtain a photograph of the farmhouse, and the oldest portion does look familiar to me (the thought, or feeling, which comes to me is, it was a good "fixer-upper").
Mathew dismissed all ideas of purchasing the property, when he discovered the asking price. I would say it is a karma-driven synchronicity rather than random chance, which now has me actually working on the same property, 1,500 feet from the buildings I considered purchasing in my past life.
Now, to the Amesbury house. I got two strong past-life impressions. The first was of John Greenleaf Whittier's death mask. It is, essentially, a sculpture in white plaster, of his head, encased in a glass box. Rather macabre--but looking at it closely, I felt a fond familiarity, especially with his distinctive nose--as though I could reach out and touch it--but I felt dismay at his sunken cheeks and mouth. As I've said previously in this blog, after some 8-9 years of researching this case, and trying to be strictly honest about my inner reactions, I have learned to discern, to a large degree, between genuine past-life experience and mere imagination. I have a track record in this regard, and where two conditions are met, I'm pretty accurate: 1) the past-life stimulus is very nearly as it was in the past life, and 2) there is strong emotion associated with it. Here, both conditions were met. I note that my inner reaction was far stronger for the death mask, than it has been for painted portraits, even though those portraits are in color.
The second strong impression I got hit me the instant I entered the upstairs room of Mathew's younger sister, Elisabeth. I felt I especially recognized one object--a small, circular fan, now tattered with age in its fragility. But I felt that I had once sat in that room, visiting with her. I have not read up on whether a brother could visit with a sister in her own bedroom--but I feel it was so. Nothing more specific came to me, not even which chair I might have sat in. I just felt her presence there, and remembered visiting with her. The sense I got is that I could confide in her, and speak with her of things that I was not at liberty to discuss with my brother. Interestingly, while Mathew's grave is at the far end of the Whittier plot away from John Greenleaf (with only his daughter, Lizzie, her husband, and some friends being further), his sister Elisabeth's grave is directly next to his (i.e., one grave in from the far end). This would seem to be at least some acknowledgement that, while you won't see it in the Whittier legacy, Mathew was close to his sister.
When I have tried to contact the Whittier Home Association in the past, choosing (however wisely) to be above-board about my reincarnation claims, I have been only grudgingly accommodated, and then, my inquiries went unanswered. During this visit, of course, aside from signing the register, I didn't reveal my identity. But I found the staff (a tour guide and the president) very pleasant and accommodating. I felt a great deal of sympathy with them, for their reported struggles to maintain this privately-funded facility. As I did when visiting with the caretaker of the Whittier farmhouse in Haverhill, I felt embarrassed to have written anything negative about their hero. But the truth is, siblings will have different perspectives on their family; and in ferreting out Mathew's own perspective, I have to be true to what I perceive. If he felt betrayed; if he felt resentment; if he felt the truth of his childhood was being white-washed for the public; I have to say that. But the underlying affection is still there, and that was what was uppermost, during my visit, yesterday.
I was permitted to take photographs, but not to publish them. That means I also got a very nice, high-res shot of my past-life painted portrait; but I can only add it to my private archives. Neither can I show you the Whittier death-mask (though it can be seen in one of the photographs of their website's online tour); or the shots I took of Elisabeth's room.
There's more, especially as regards my second visit to Dover. I may have located some of the places associated with Mathew and Abby's time, there. But I will save that for the sequel.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Song for Lynette" by Eric Johnson,
from the album, "Venus Isle"